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March 03, 2009

Irish Rallycross Ch'ship Climaxes, British Series Kicks Off

In a major change from its traditional October date the British Rallycross Championship will kick off its 2009 season at Mondello Park this Sunday at the circuit’s final Rallycross event of the 08/09 winter season. While the British drivers will be opening their 2009 campaign the Irish championship will come to an exciting climax with a number of titles still up for grabs.

A healthy twelve car Supercar entry has been received so far by the Co. Kildare Motor Club with the possibility that this could be swelled by additional runners before Sunday’s event. In the modified division the addition of the UK cars has ensured that more than twenty five cars will fight it out for the fifteen available positions in the finals, while in Stockhatch just four overseas entries were required to push this always impressive grid to over the thirty mark.

In the top division, Tyrone’s Derrick Jobb has sown up the championship and will now turn his attention to beating the increased competition provided by the UK visitors and trying to secure the overall Irish title where he currently trails modified division leader Michael Coyne from Naas. The British entry will be led by reigning champion Lawerence Gibson with his Metro 6R4, the Father and son team of Pat and Liam Doran with their Fiesta’s, Welsh man Mike Manning’s Puma, and 2007 Mondello winner Steve Hill with his rare Mitsubishi Supercar. The Irish entry includes runner-up to Jobb in the Irish Supercar division, Eddie Kinirons, who will return with his Focus after a couple of events with his Rally-spec Celica, and Tommy Graham who is aiming to finally debut his new Fiesta.

In the modified division The UK visitors will have their work cut out to beat local hot-shoes Michael Coyne and his brother Willie. The two Vauxhall Nova drivers have been so quick this season that they currently lead the overall Irish championship. Unfortunately for Willie after the mandatory discounting of each drivers lowest score he drops from the top spot down to third behind Michael and Derrick Jobb. In their own division however the Coynes are virtually guaranteed the top two spots with Michael the most likely to become champion. Of the UK visitors two of the 2008 top three will again be present in the form of reigning champ James Bird’s Clio and Mike Howlin’s Fiesta. Also entered are some un-conventional but extremely quick machines such as Antrim based Don Shannon’s Volvo S40, the Vauxhall VX220 of Mike Turpin, Michael Boak’s Audi TT and the Lotus of John Smith.

The Stockhatch championship still remains to be decided and with some very quick UK visitors in the field anything could happen. Three drivers are still in contention, with Michael Duke leading Noel O’Brien and Junior championship graduate Robert Critchley. Of the British Championship runners Phil Chicken has always performed strongly at Mondello and he should make it difficult for the locals. The Junior division of the British championship does not travel to Mondello for this event, so it is left up to the Jondol championship regulars to provide the entertainment here. The title has already gone to UK raider Daniel O’Brien, who has taken six wins form six events, but with the English youngster not in attendance this weekend the way is open for a new Junior star to emerge.

Sunday’s event gets underway with practice at 09:15 and following three rounds of heats the finals are set to take place from 15:30 onwards.

Event details
Sunday February 8th

  • Motorsport Ireland National Rallycross Championship 08/09 Round 7
  • Kumho Tyres MSA British Rallycross Championship 2009 Round 1

Mondello Park, Naas, County Kildare
Practice commences at 09.15
Races start at 10:30
Adult admission €15, accompanied under 16s free.
Family Admission €25

 Practice Commences
 Practice Finishes
 Heats Run 1
 Heats Run 2
 Lunch Break
 Heats Run 3